August is one of those months where everything happens at once. Back to school, back to work, back to football, the Olympics, ragweed pollen invades, so do political ads and politicians, almost every vegetable finally hits our farmers markets, and if you are like me a subtle sense of panic starts to bubble through my days. Add to that a good dose of oppressive heat and last minute summer activity and what we get is the “Dog Days of Summer.” We are left with that feeling that we are somewhere between snoozing in the shade with our tongues lolling about and chasing our tail.
This natural pause in the rhythm of our year is always a good time to be grateful for the past and look forward a bit. Here at Right Size Publishing is no different. Not only is our summer coming to an end but we are approaching the first anniversary of registering our domain name, rightsizelife.com. We have had several successes in our year thus far and are looking forward to several more. Our launch of T.A.F.I. (Toledo Area Festival Info) was successful and well received. We will continue to keep it current throughout the fall. LIkewise we produced several videos that were targeted and watched and published some great lifestyle articles on local vacation and camping opportunities. We are particularly proud of our listing of regional farmers markets. Our site was one of the few places that had a concentrated and coordinated listing of these markets including dates, times, and locations for pop up markets across the area.We continued to bring great shopping finds with S.O.S. (Shoppers on Site) and expanded our reach to new and interesting markets. All in all, a successful opening year.
So what is next? First, we are announcing a new annual initiative on Holiday shopping. Too soon to think about December? Not in the publishing business. By November 1st we will have a coordinated guide to gift buying local ready for your use. Remember all of those catalogues you start getting in September? Things like fruit basket catalogues, meat and cheese, wine, craft beer, and other things you send to those people you want to remember out of town? Forget about ordering. Our local markets, retailers, and artisans have great gift ideas. Many of them will ship and even have online shopping available. Sending a bit of Toledo to friends, family, and colleagues during the holidays can start right here at rightsizelife.com.
We will also begin to monetize the site. Nothing, and we mean NOTHING, on the Internet is free. We have striven to keep our site junk free: no banner ads, no pop ups, no links to extraneous, unnecessary, and frankly unuseful sites. So how do we pay our freelancers, web service fees, and article production fees? In a word: us. On September 1st we will begin a membership drive for our site. Ultimately we will require all users to be members but we will start with those who follow us now. Membership will be $15 per year and for those who sign up during our campaign you will get 3 months free after the start of non member restrictions. At first the site will be totally open to the public. However, as we advance we will lock down many areas of the site which will be “member only”.
We will also begin to partner with our area merchants and markets to enhance our coverage of their products and services. This partnership will include highlighting their listings, allowing them to provide content, and above all bring you as members discounts for their stores, products, and services. These coupons and discounts will be exclusive to rightsizelife.com members and will be designed to benefit those who live solo or in pairs.
Above all we will add more content. Launching in September we will add a feature that we have been playing with but will formalize. Twice a month we will offer an editorial column called “Flying (Mostly) Solo”. This will be in addition to our weekly cooking and lifestyle articles, videos, area festival listings, and S.O.S.
Finally, we will begin an all out push to raise awareness of our site and get you involved. Comments, article suggestions, and social media sharing are the lifeblood of a startup and we need your help. If you like our site, if you like an article or find a page helpful, please share with your friends via social media. If you like an article please comment. Like us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and coming soon Pinterest. And shop LOCAL! Mention us to the merchants that you frequent. The more we share an interest in living exciting and meaningful lives solo or in pairs, the easier it becomes to bring you the kind of community you want and frankly deserve.
In essence it comes down to SSS: Support, share, suggest! We need all of these to grow our community.
There is nothing small about our lives. However, when we live solo or in pairs we definitely need to scale our lives to an affordable, manageable, and most importantly achievable level. That is what we mean by “Big Living on a Small Scale”. See on site and in town! Thanks for a great summer!